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Volume IX
Issue 19     

17 November 2014 


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One of the perks of being executive director of the Methodist Federation for Social Action is that from time to time I receive phone calls from seminary students writing papers for their Methodist history course. These conversations warm my heart and challenge my mind. The questions they ask about the Federation are a MethoNerd's dream! Last week, I had the honor of speaking with a student at the Pacific School of Religion who said she'd never heard about the Methodist Federation for Social Action until she went to Annual Conference last year. "Why don't more people know about MFSA?," she asked.


It's a great question, and one I've pondered since joining MFSA's staff over three years ago. It's true - we seem to be "The United Methodist Church's best kept secret." But being a secret doesn't help us share a vision for a Church and world that seeks justice, peace, and equality.


So I'm asking you to help us stop being The United Methodist Church's best kept secret.


Ask 5 friends to sign up for our eNews.

Invite 5 friends to follow us on Facebook.

Tag 5 friends in a Tweet and ask them to follow us.

Call 5 friends and invite them to your next local Chapter meeting. (And if you don't have a local Chapter, ask if they'd consider starting one).


Building a movement of progressive people of faith isn't easy - but it can multiply quickly! Your help in building this movement can help us grow exponentially and make our witness for peace and justice even stronger!

Peace and passion,

Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
  Stand for Women in the Midst of War and Conflict

Rape is used as a weapon of war and torture and often results in unwanted pregnancy. Across the world the number of women and girls raped in conflict is staggering. But right now, women who are pregnant as a result of rape are often unable to access the care that they need because of U.S. political barriers to safe abortion, namely the Helms Amendment, a decades-old provision that forbids the U.S. to "pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning," but does not prohibit U.S. foreign assistance in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment. Despite the distinction, lack of clarity around the implementation of Helms has served as a barrier to safe abortion services for women and girls, including those raped in conflict. With a stroke of his pen, President Obama can eliminate these barriers and ensure that the U.S. is a leader in providing comprehensive, post-rape care, including safe abortion services, to survivors of sexual violence in conflict.


If you are in the Washington, DC area on Tuesday, December 9, you are invited to join MFSA and organizations working for peace and justice to a rally in front of the White House asking President Obama to eliminate such barriers. We will meet at 12Noon in the northeast corner of Lafayette Park (near McPherson Square Metro) and join with other progressive people of faith before heading over to the rally.


Please RSVP here to the lead organizers at the Center for Health and Gender Equality and also RSVP through MFSA's Facebook event so we can communicate about specifics closer to the event!

Education and Action at the Border
A continuing education experience sponsored by the Rapid Response and Refugee and Immigrant Ministries Team of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church is designed to give clergy and others an opportunity to explore questions of immigration and immigration reform from the U.S./Mexico border. Pre-trip readings will lead to a day of preparation and reflection upon arrival in Tucson, as well as an day of action planning before coming back to South Carolina.


Participants will travel to Tucson, Arizona February 8-13, 2015 for a planned educational experience led by Borderlinks, "a nonprofit educational organization in Tucson that focuses on

cross-border relationship building opportunities, issues of immigration, community formation and development, and social justice in the borderlands between Mexico, the U.S., and beyond." The group will also spend time exploring the work of the Colibri Center for Human Rights, an organization whose mission is to "identify human remains on the US-Mexico border through comprehensive forensic research and reliable data on missing persons."


Visit this website to learn more about the fantastic opportunity to learn about immigration and migration face-to-face.

Make #GivingTuesday Last All Year!
For the third year, MFSA will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a day set aside from shopping to highlight philanthropy and giving. This year we're trying something a little different.

Monthly giving spreads generosity throughout the year - and it's super easy! So for this Giving Tuesday, MFSA is seeking 20 new monthly donors at a level of $20 or more per month. All you have to do is email Heather Kramer, Administrative Coordinator, and let her know you'd like to give. By Giving Tuesday, she'll have you set up as a monthly donor! It's that simple!

And as a thank you, if we receive 20 new monthly donors by Giving Tuesday, we'll send all monthly donors a signed copy of Lifting Up Hope, Living Out Justice, which details the connection between MFSA and the Deaconess movement.  
MFSA On The Road!
Sunday, November 23: New Wineskins gathering, Marietta Brewing Company, Marietta, OH
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, leading discussion

Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 15: RootsCamp, Washington, DC
     Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, participating
     Joey Lopez, Board Member, participating
Progressive Ponderings
Methodist Federation for Social Action
212 East Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20003